BY BROOK WADLE
ASST. ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
As Ryan Stevens stood in the voting booth to vote in Monroe County’s primary elections last May, he noticed a vacancy for a Republican Committeeman in his township. Not really thinking much of it, he wrote himself in on the ballot.
Little did he know, he would actually win elected office as the next committee person for the Monroe County Republican Party at the young age of 20.
Ryan Stevens, now a junior at East Stroudsburg University, is a Political Science major with a minor in Economics and a minor in German. As if taking 18 credits a semester, working 30 hours a week, and holding office as committeeman is not enough to have on his plate, Stevens is still hungry for more.
He is now running for East Stroudsburg School Board as School Board Director.
Through being involved with the county’s Republican Committee, Stevens learned of the opportunity to run for school board. As a recent graduate of East Stroudsburg High School South, he has seen the current problems the school district faces first-hand and feels he would do the school board some good.
“I really want to help the people of East Stroudsburg,” said Stevens. “Somebody needs to step up and get it done.”
Not only is Stevens active in local politics, but on campus as well. He is a member of the ESU Honors Program, Vice President of the German Club, and Vice President of the College Republicans, which he helped co-found in August 2012 to help fulfill his duty as Monroe County Committeeman.
ESU College Republicans was officially recognized by the University last month. Stevens currently has a petition to be a member of ESU Student Senate for the 2013-2014 academic year and was one of the seven students chosen from ESU to attend President Obama’s Inauguration in Washington, D. C. this past January. He was also the Student Director for Eurosim 2013.
Stevens’ academic advisor, Dr. Johan L. Eliasson, asked Stevens to assume the role of Student Director for Eurosim 2013.
ESU hosted the International European Union Simulation on April 4-7, 2013. Eurosim is a four-day conference where students from 20 universities in Europe and the US gather to political role-play.
Student delegates are presented with real problems and issues and are to act as if it were real life.
The conference enhances students’ knowledge of the European Union, international law, diplomatic protocol, and diplomatic procedures. As Student Director, Stevens handled the logistical concerns and was not allowed to participate in the program.
However, Stevens saw this as an opportunity to prepare for next year’s Eurosim, to be held in the Netherlands.
“I would have liked to be involved in the actual simulation,” said Stevens. “But it was still a great learning experience for me. I loved interacting with the European students and learning about our cultural differences.”
Stevens will soon be able to experience Europe and all the cultural difference first-hand. He was selected by the ESU Honors Program to study abroad in Europe this summer on a full scholarship. Stevens will take two classes at Bloomsburg University, and then travel to London, England, Vienna and Salzburg in Austria, and Venice and Rome in Italy.
As for Stevens’ plans after graduation, he talks of possibly working in Harrisburg with the state legislature or on a political campaign, but is open to whatever opportunity comes his way.
“There are so many different paths I can take,” said Stevens. “I don’t want to limit myself to one.”
Stevens has proved that sometimes all you need is one vote.
His on-a-whim decision to write himself in on the ballot last May has opened many doors for him. He always knew he wanted to do something in politics, but being involved in his local politics has added fuel to his political fire.
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